It’s about pride, community and R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
A sea of pink flooded the Dalhousie campus this Wednesday as students, staff and faculty walked proudly with their pink shirts, shoes, scarves or socks in support of ‘Pink Day,’ Dal’s anti-bullying awareness campaign.
In collaboration with Human Resources; the Office of Human Rights, Equity and Harassment Prevention; the Dalhousie Student Union; and additional support from the President’s Office, the rally took place across all three campuses with a BBQ at the Studley Quad to finish the day.
Janice MacInnis, coordinator of organizational health at Dalhousie, was busy setting up tables in and outside the Tupper Link early this morning for the kickoff to the ‘Respect’ campaign on Carleton campus.
“This campaign began as a response to a [Nova Scotia high school] student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school,” she said, armed with pink leis and pins adorned with the word ‘respect.’ “We’re building on that campaign by promoting a healthy environment for students, staff and faculty. We share that responsibility on campus."
In the Faculty of Dentistry, where clinic dress codes could have been an obstacle to supporting the cause, staff and students found a creative solution: wearing pink examination gloves, provided specifically for the occasion, in the Treatment Planning Clinic.
When lunch time rolled around, dozens of students, faculty and staff wandered to the Studley quad for the free BBQ and to hear from some familiar campus faces.
An inclusive university community
“It’s heartening to see this initiative come forward for the second year in a row,” said President Tom Traves, who spoke to the crowd of onlookers all sporting the colour pink. “This day should be a reminder of what we need to do every day to help create a respectful and inclusive university community here and at our [Dalhousie Medicine] New Brunswick campus.”
Next to take the podium was Wayne Mackay, a Dalhousie law professor who was recently named by Education Minister Ramona Jennex to head a task force investigating bullying and cyberbullying.
“This is a very large issue with no simple solution,” he said. “But there’s a lot of goodwill out there and I welcome any input on how we can work together and put an end to bullying and cyberbullying.”
“Bullying goes beyond the playground and classrooms, and extends into the workplace and beyond,” said DSU President Chris Saulnier. “Public reminders like this are a step in the right direction in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.”
Pink Day is one of the many events planned in conjunction with Live Well @ Dal week and National Healthy Workplace month.
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